Introducing someone to the world of whisky can be a delightful journey, offering a range of flavours and experiences. For beginners, it’s often best to start with whiskies that are approachable, well-balanced, and representative of their style, without being too overwhelming in terms of complexity or intensity.

Here are five whiskies that serve as excellent introductions to various whisky traditions:

5 introductory whiskies to try 

Adelphi Blended Scotch Whisky

Adelphi Blended Scotch Whisky 70cl (Scotland)  

Type: Blended Scotch

Tasting Notes: Salty peat, estery fruitiness, pear drops, and an all-round nuttiness.

Why it’s good for beginners: Adelphi makes a beautifully balanced, smooth Scotch whisky from a blend of grain and malt whisky from all over the shop, including Islay, Speyside, and Campbeltown. Its smoky qualities are measured so it serves as an excellent introduction to the world of peated Scotch, which can absolutely be for beginners if you keep an open mind and pick a whisky like this. 

Buffalo Trace Whiskey 70cl (Kentucky, USA)  

Type: Bourbon

Tasting Notes: Caramel, vanilla, toffee, and fruit. Subtle spices and an oaky finish.

Why it’s good for beginners: Buffalo Trace offers a classic bourbon experience with a rich flavour that’s not too overpowering. It showcases the sweetness and full-bodied character typical of American bourbon, making it a solid entry point for exploring this style.

Jameson Crested Whiskey

Jameson Crested Whiskey 70cl (Ireland)  

Type: Blended Irish whiskey

Tasting Notes: Smooth and mellow with maple butter, caramelized sugars, marmalade, ginger, roasted nuts, and chocolate. 

Why it’s good for beginners: Jameson is a staple of Irish whiskey, renowned for its smoothness and versatility. Its triple distillation process ensures a gentle introduction to whiskey, making it an excellent choice for those new to the spirit. It’s also a good base for cocktails. Crested is one of the world’s underrated whiskeys and, with a high proportion of sherry casks and a complex Irish pot still fruity quality, it’s big on great flavours that are a core part of the whiskey world while still being very balanced and approachable. 

Masthouse whisky

Masthouse Single Malt Pot & Column Still Whisky 50cl (England)  

Type: English single malt whisky

Tasting Notes: Lemon zest, honey, brown sugar, and banana chips.

Why it’s good for beginners: An intriguing English single malt whisky here from the Masthouse range produced at the Copper Rivet Distillery in Chatham, Kent. This expression has been distilled in both pot and column stills and has one of the most juicy, light, and sweet fruit-based profiles you’ve ever tasted. You’ll think it’s been topped off with tropical juice.

Aber Falls single malt 2021 release

Aber Falls Single Malt Whisky – Autumn 2021 Release 70cl (Wales)  

Type: Welsh single malt whisky

Tasting Notes: Creamy malt with diced nuts, caramel crystalised fruit, zesty orange peel, fudge, and dried fruits.

Why it’s good for beginners: As with every whisky we’ve picked, Aber Falls single malt is superb value for money. It’s also brimming with subtle spice, creamy sweetness, and rich fruit. You’ll be able to play with this in several cocktails too.